by Irma Arkus
At least in Israel they do, so we find out. While the last presidential elections in US seemed to consist of Republican creationist beauty competitions, other countries did not find ignorance of science as delightful, especially when exhibited by government agency workers, or even worse, scientists.
Example, Israeli Dr. Gavriel Avital, chosen as chief scientists of the Ministry of Education was quickly shown the door when publicly declaring his lack of support for theory of evolution.
According to the Haaretz article, the minister explained his decision to sack Dr. Avital by stating that “someone who holds [these opinions] cannot serve as chief scientist of the education ministry.”
Cut simple, a scientist who is climbing the political ladder cannot hold key positions in ministry of education, altering or influencing education and curriculum on a wide, national scale, when holding opinions largely lambasted and rejected by leading scientific circles.
The firing was not a simple move on the part of the ministry, but rather a national outcry in Israel, after 10 local Nobel-prize winners called for his dismissal after hearing the controversial remarks, regarding not only his idea of evolutionary development, but also climate change.
According to Dr. Avital, the man placed in charge of national curriculum: “If textbooks state explicitly that human beings’ origins are to be found with monkeys, I would want students to pursue and grapple with other opinions. There are many people who don’t believe the evolutionary account is correct. There are those for whom evolution is a religion and are unwilling to hear about anything else. Part of my responsibility, in light of my position with the Education Ministry, is to examine textbooks and curricula. If they keep writing in textbooks that the Earth is growing warmer because of carbon dioxide emissions, I’ll insist that isn’t the case.”
Also adding “I don’t recycle, I put plastic in the trash. The earth will not be harmed, God promised us. Another scientific field that is problematic is biology, or life and environmental sciences. When your doctrine is based on Darwin’s theory of evolution and its implications, you are standing on unreliable foundations – that is, there is no God, there was only something primeval, and then there are certain random developments which led to the apex of all creation, the human being. A “green crusade” has taken place around the world over the past few years, part of a broader phenomenon that could indeed be called “green religion”. Why are environmental organisations pressuring the government over alternative energy that is both unattainable and probably very costly? These questions cannot be avoided. The answers to them are likely to surprise and possibly disappoint. But the moment science is enlisted for political ends – that is, in the name of ideology – questions arise as to the scientific basis of environmental organisations.”
The example of Dr. Avital serves as a great point of debate that washes over onto international stage. It also serves as a great lesson to those who are using their political positions to push forth their religious dogma.